The Bursary was established in 1996 and is open to vocal students just beginning their second year of study at each of the eight major Music Colleges in England, Scotland and Wales. Each college sends two singers who present a varied programme of no more than 18 minutes. The winner of the Bursary receives £3000 spread over three years. Owing to the generosity of Winifred Ferrier, other major donors, the Society is now able to give Second, Third and Accompanist's Prizes. The President, Sheila Armstrong, chairs the panel of distinguished judges each year and she has proved to be devoted and supportive in the role and takes great interest in the progress and careers of the singers who take part in the Bursary competitions. The competition is held in Ferrier's home town of Blackburn, Lancashire, at the King George's Hall.